Jesus loves me this I know. Debra Wants me this I know. My kids appreciate me this I know. My church encourages me this I know. My Life Group cares for me this I know. Everything else I know, I will share with you.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Never thought I would say this but...............

......there are some things we can all learn from a hairdresser.

Kallie Linder from without knowing it nailed what real ministry is like. Go to her site to read her take but I am going to steal a few things to encourage you in ministry.

 Being good at cutting and coloring hair doesn't make you a good hairdresser.
.....and Being good at ministry doesn't make you a good Minister.

You also need good communication skills, a listening ear, a drive to exceed the standard and the ability to sometimes perform miracles. You have to want to be and do better than the license (ordination) you receive.

It's harder than it looks.
....Ministry is harder than it looks.
Formulating, working haircuts out in your head, removing box black hair color that a client tells you they've only done "once" and it "washed out", lies.. don't lie to your hairdresser and black hair color NEVER NOT EVER washes out.
Counseling, Cleaning up lives, and constant lies. Don't lie to your Pastor even if Jesus can wash your black sins away.
It's emotional
If you're lucky enough to have clients come back to your chair year after year you become attached.
You become friends.
A bond of love is formed.
You walk through different seasons of life from graduation, marriage, life, death and everything in between.
You become part of each others dash
Moments have taken my breath away as I've watch what once was just a little girl become a wife.
Tears have streamed down my face when learning of a dear clients death.
I've shaved women's heads bald, tears pouring out of them, as they prepare for the battle for their life.
I had no idea this would be part of it.
I could not describe it better.
It's rewarding
We have a gift and it can be used to help people be their best selves.
We have the ability to make cloudy days shine bright.
It isn't flexible
I know everyone thinks it is. It isn't It's true I make my own schedule, but it is still a job and in order to make money I must work real hours.
I am serious about this work thing even though it is a really super fun job.
This has in turn made me a scheduling freak.
Ministry is 24/7/365 and rest is required.
Working for yourself in someone else's salon isn't the same as owning your own salon.
I've always worked in lease salons which means I worked for myself.
This is a much easier way of doing things because you just worry about your own business.
Now that I am an owner of a salon I have taken on the task of worrying about my own behind the chair business as well as the business of the 7 other very talented women.
These are women whom I love and cherish.
I am never not working.
I am constantly thinking of how we can do better and be more efficient.
How I can help the other girls be successful too.
I research what is up and coming, trending, marketing, new methods, old methods.
You name it I am trying to learn about it.
By the way.. just because it is an "old" method doesn't mean it's not good!
Running business doesn't come easy to me and I don't love that part of it.
Wow I wish all church members felt this passionate about church ownership.
There are some things I don't love about our industry (ministry)
Like why some hairdressers (Churches) feel they need to bash other salons (Churches) or salon professionals (Ministers). Not only is this highly unprofessional, it isn't a reflection of the person you are bashing it is a reflection of yourself.
Imagine if we all worked together!
What if we shared what we knew instead of being a braggart?
What if we were brave enough to ask other hairdressers (Christians) for advice and not just the ones we know that live out of town?
What if salon owners (Churches) could get together and share ideas of what works and what isn't working?
What if we could do all that without fear of being looked down upon?!
The possibilities are endless
Because here is the deal we are all still different and bring different things to our clients.
Even in our small town there IS enough business for everyone.
TOGETHER we could rid the world of black box dye (Sin) and over processed blond hair! (Religious fakes)
I think we have the power to change the image of how
 hairdressers (Christians) are thought to be catty gossips'
The power lies within us.
Thank you Kallie for reminding us that we are in the people business and serving THEM is what we are called to do. I know that is what you were thinking. Lol
Blessed is Me to have you a part of our life.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

I'm Done and Happier for it

In case you’re wondering why I haven’t been blogging lately is because I have been involved with this friend of mine. He’s the nicest guy I’ve ever known. He’s compassionate and caring and is the truest friend I have. He so believes in his mission in life and is confident in the direction its going. Just an amazing guy. If you met him you would love him.  

But he’s got this wife that seems to rub everybody wrong. Sometimes she can be just great, but other times, she can be this judgmental, negative person. It’s like she’s always fighting with others. I’m not the only one who sees it. So many of His other friends see it and he has lost many because of her. They just can’t do it, they love Him, they do but they just can’t stand her. And I don’t know why he doesn’t see it, why he doesn’t step up and defend himself. Because she is tearing him down. Because of her, people don’t even want to get to know him.

I guess Love is Blind.

I would hope by now that you’ve figured out that I’m not talking about an earthly friend but a heavenly one. Jesus and his bride, the Church. And the reason I haven’t been blogging lately is simple, I’m tired of reading negative stuff about her. I’m weary of the complaints from people about her. Even this week someone from newLife told another that she was dying. And I have read numerous articles on why we should change her and even how to do it.

Could you imagine if you were the Bride of Christ and thousands of blogs were set up to tear you down and talk about how to change you? A Chorus of Critics claiming knowledge about you and clearly teaching the world how messed up you are and they know the way to make you prettier or you'll die.

Some people believe that they are creating a record but its nothing but a record of your complaints and arrogance. So it’s made me not want to have an online presence. I just stopped reading your stuff. I just stopped listening to your complaints. And I don’t want to be your Friend.

She’s not your Bride, She’s not your wife. If you don’t have anything good to say about her shut up, she is not yours. And don’t go telling me you love Him and don’t like her. Cause you can’t separate the two.

So for a while, I’m going to stay away from the critics and hang with her. I’m going to hang with my Life Group. I’m going to Encounter God and pray with her. I’m going to celebrate His resurrection with her on Sunday. This last Sunday because of her, three souls trusted Christ as their savior, two new Christians were baptized, and more are to come. They Love him and her and I love them.

And if I ever start blogging again, it will be to honor my friend’s wife who has done so much for me and this world. And you can say it, Love is Blind

See you in Church

Pastor Andy Roberts

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Headline: Harleys Cause Cancer

I think.
Its the only Explanation.Yesterday I performed a memorial for one of my best friends who died of cancer at 50 and he rode a Harley. In a strange coincidence, today I am doing a wedding for the daughter of one of my best friends who died several years ago from cancer in his mid fifties, and he rode a Harley.

The only connection I can make is it must be the bikes. There must be something about freedom, clean air, and loud pipes that takes the best friends I have, too early.

Maybe its the bugs, yea the bugs are conspiring to kill us through their carrying of cancer and then upon impact at high speeds imparting that cancer through our faces.

Maybe the cancer comes through the air, just random cancer cells floating aimlessly that enter our body's through our leather. Yes maybe its revenge from all of the cows that have died to cover our bodies with protective equipment.

Or maybe its a conspiracy by Harley Davidson themselves and that low loud sound actually awakens normally quiet cells in our bodies and makes them go bad. Why would they do that? so that there would be more bikes sold as the old riders die off.

Or maybe its me. No that would be stupid. No maybe being friends with me causes Harley riders to develop cancer.

Or maybe its just that cancer sucks and it has nothing to do with Harley riders being a little crazy and friends of mine.

Yea, its just that Cancer Sucks and both of these amazing men just died too early and happened to be my friends.

Yea, that's it, Cancer Sucks but Jesus Saves and because of Jesus I'll see both of them again one day. So I'll keep riding as its not Harley's Fault.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Means can be very Mean

For a period of time, I was a Christian who held tightly to What a believer believed and How that believer believed. Hard Doctrine and Holy Direction was what I clung too. Christianity was more about being RIGHT with my view of a Christian than being right with God. (these two often got confused). In fact the Method or Means of the faith was more important than the men.

Jesus taught about this in Luke chapter 7. He was invited into the home of a Pharisee and was given a place at the mans table. But a woman of the city, a sinner heard Jesus was there, she entered into this mans home and began to pour out love on Jesus. To which the Pharisee began to judge not only the woman but the Lord himself.

So Jesus asks this question about who would love more, a person forgiven of much or a person forgiven of little. Simon supposed that it would be the person who had the larger debt. And He was right.

Jesus then turned to the woman and speaking to Simon still and begins to explain the difference between this point. The woman who needed much forgiveness Loved Jesus much, but Simon who loved Jesus little didn't need much forgiveness.

Great truth. Simple truth. But not the truth that I think is the most important truth.

Jesus then forgives the woman of her sins that were great, but all the Pharisee’s were concerned with was the means of forgiveness. Who is Jesus to do this?

They were not concerned with the Woman who needed forgiveness; they were concerned with the way she was forgiven. Their Hard Doctrine and Holy Direction did not provide for Supernatural Forgiveness. Their View of the Faith did not fit in with the Values of the Father. Rather than Rejoice over what ever means or methods this woman came to know forgiveness, they Judged and ridiculed how it was done.

The Apostle Paul spoke to this point in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 summarizing it by saying 1 Corinthians 9:22-23 (ESV) 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.
23 I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.

That by all means or different methods I might save some. I was asked yesterday why our church doesn’t have more doctors or lawyers and my thought was, because they don't think that they need as much forgiveness as the adulteresses and the drunkards and the addicts do. And I no longer fish for the full, but the Hungry.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Distance makes the Heart (of the Christian) more Fake not Fonder

I know that this sounds strange, but as I was crawling out of my comfortable bed and into my nice warm shower and then putting on my nice clean clothes the thought (from the Lord or not) came to me of how good most of us live. I have a place to lay my head every night, a way to feel clean every day, and a way to stay warm and comfortable. Every Day. I have eaten a semi healthy breakfast after sleeping 6 1/2 hours uninterrupted and not been bothered by people needed help.

And I thought of my wife. She is getting about two hours a sleep a night on the floor of a hospital waiting room, using wipes to stay clean, wearing the same clothes every day, eating a banana, and surrounded by suffering people from the moment she is awake to the moment she gets a little rest.

and Today...................
I will do ministry to comfortable people
She will be ministering to comfort people

I will speak to suburban kids whose parents can afford Christian school
She will speak to suffering kids whose parents can't afford medical care

I will celebrate our daughters 25th Birthday
She will celebrate a successful lung transplant

I will gather to play Christianity with spoiled saints
She will gather to pray with soiled aints.

I am the Pastor of a Church with Critics
She is a Missionary to the Critical Care

I am concerned with how much of a pain people will be
She is concerned with the pain of her family

Tonight I will climb back in my comfortable bed, she will fight for a space on the floor

Not sure how I am feeling about all of this

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Thank you for getting into my business

Last night at encounter I was minding my own business. Literally my mind was heavy on my own business. and then he comes by with a note...About My Business

How did he know about my business? Who told him what I was thinking? I was talking to God. We alone were having a deep discussion. I don't think it showed on my face and I know I never said a word to any mortal man.

But that was part of what makes encounter so awesome. Sometimes the encounter with God comes through an encounter with a friend. Someone who is open to the voice of God and cares enough to share the word of God with you. My business became his business because he was about my fathers business. I love having friends like that.

Proverbs 17:17 (ESV) A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

Monday, September 1, 2014

No Black Cats

What do you think?
This morning I was riding the Harley to breakfast which is normally an uneventful ride but 4 miles into it a truck beside me, Right Beside Me, decided he wanted my lane and with catlike reflexes I swerved only to miss him by an inch...or a little more. Fresh from my brush with death a 1/4 mile later a tourist backed out of a coffee shop into my lane and decided to park there..... facing my lane....again with the cat like reflexes I maneuvered masterfully to miss this messed up man by an inch...or a little more.

A little nervous but still excited to ride, I enjoyed my coffee (in a real cup) and left again on my journey. This time, feeling a little nostalgic I drove towards my boyhood home and the home I raised my little ones. But one mile into this journey a Dog....yes a Dog ran out right in front of me. He was a Black Dog. Grabbing a hold of my brakes and fearing for the worst I missed him by an inch....or a little more.

and I came an inch.....or a little more

I never saw a black cat but I get it. I'm staying home and reading. Pray that I don't get a paper cut but if it comes close, that I miss it by an inch....or a little more.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Deep Cries Out

There is something very special about a Christian who Loves God. Not one who claims to love Him, but one that leaves no doubt. 

They Love Him ~ and it Shows
They Live for Him ~ and it Shows
They Long for Him ~ and it Shows

In the way they Love what He Loves
In the way that they Live as He Lived
In the way of their Longing, wanting what He wants

I was speaking to one of those this morning who was at the church before work to worship.
I spoke to another yesterday who was at the church on her day off to make sure her ministry was prepared.
I spoke to another last week who heard what God said to her and repented.
I spoke to another whose heart is broken over selfishness

They are so different who Long to Love the Lord

Psalm 42:1-11 (ESV)
1 As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?
3 My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God?”
4 These things I remember, as I pour out my soul: how I would go with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God with glad shouts and songs of praise, a multitude keeping festival.
5 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation
6 and my God. My soul is cast down within me; therefore I remember you from the land of Jordan and of Hermon, from Mount Mizar.
7 Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves have gone over me.
8 By day the LORD commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life.
9 I say to God, my rock: “Why have you forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?”
10 As with a deadly wound in my bones, my adversaries taunt me, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God?”
11 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Work is Work

Talking with a young man last night I noticed that He, like many others, struggles with discontentedness. He has a great wife, a good Church, and a decent life to which he is not denying. But he’s looking for happiness through an avenue that will never happen. That avenue is his job. Work is a result of Gods curse upon man for rebellion against Him.

Genesis 3:17-19 (ESV)
17 And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; 18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
“in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life”
“thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you”
“By the sweat of your face you shall eat”

Contentment was not part of the “job”. But notice the solution to the curse? The Cross.

Galatians 3:13-14 (ESV) 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”—
14 so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.
Contentment then would come not through what we do but what He did. He took on the penalty of sin for us. The hardness of life was taken for us by Him and so our contentedness is always found in Him. Our Happiness is not found in what we do (work is still a curse) but what He did.

Yet for many that is not enough. We want our Jobs, something God cursed, to make us content. And it makes me wonder, If a man is content with His job that God cursed, will he need the Cross?

1 Timothy 6:6-11 (ESV)
6 Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment,
7 for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.
8 But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.
9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.
10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.
11 But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.
Discontentedness is a disease that will seep into every aspect of your life. A man who has everything and is discontent with anything can soon be overwhelmed by sadness.

Seek a life of happiness in the Cross and contentedness will come no matter what you do for a living.

Monday, August 18, 2014

I wouldn't have it any other way

Today is my 30th wedding anniversary.  Instead of sitting on the Sands of Hawaii,  I'm sitting in the sadness of a critical care unit. Instead of presents Debra and I will give prayers. Instead of a party we will be pained to watch Debra's mom cling to life and her step father wrestle with his fears.

But I am with the one I love, and that's all that matters.

Thank you Jesus for my DJ. She is another sign of how much you love me.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

A Woman to Look Up To

It is my hope that all of the Gracie's of newLife are able to grow up seeing their true value to the Kingdom of God. And I am excited because they do not have to look far to find a woman to look up to.

And there is one I want to write about. She is so much the proverbs 31 woman. I know this because of what I see in her husband Proverbs 31:11 (ESV) The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. 

But some might see her as unsubmissive and her husband as a kept man.
Some might see her as too strong and her husband as too weak.

Which is strange because in all of the years I have been her Pastor, I have never once seen her be unsubmissive to her husband, nor have I seen her husband be weak. What I see is a woman who holds her head up high and who holds her husband in high esteem by being the strong woman he was attracted to when he met her.

In fact she is harder on herself than you could ever be and it has taken years to help her see that her strength is not a weakness to the kingdom of God but a gift.

When I see her, I see a woman who Loves and serves God with all of her heart.
When I see her, I see a woman who Loves and serves her husband with all of her heart.
When I see her, I see a woman who Loves and serves her children with all of her heart.
When I see her, I see a woman who Loves and serves newLife with all of her heart.

She is a woman to look up to and its only those intimated and insecure who might look down. How sad that they cannot see that they could be so much more if they would just lift up their eyes and see her as the godly woman she is.

Proverbs 31:30-31 (ESV)
30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.

Gracie, Keep Looking Up

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A Beautiful Poem Written by a Beautiful Lady

Last Sunday after service an amazing young woman was given this poem by God. Something that I want to share with you

I am beautiful
I am strong
I have value
I belong

In God's Kingdom
I now live
forgiveness and love
I will give

Peace and laughter
dancing and singing
life's a journey
my God is leading

This is the type of Christian who will be leading newLife into the future.....we are so blessed

Monday, August 11, 2014

Strong Woman Alert

Yesterday I made the mistake of asking one of our preschoolers what she thought of her new classroom. (her old room was taken by another larger class)
Her response was wonderful and with all of the Seriousness she could muster she said to me.....
"I don't like it".

I appreciated her honesty but more importantly that she felt she could say that to me. In some circles they would have said that she was being rebellious. Little girls shouldn't have such strong opinions and yet this is how she felt. She didn't say, I don't like it and I'm leaving, nor did she say "I DON"T LIKE IT" in anger. She also did not blame me for changing her room. She also stayed submissive to the decision by staying in the room. She just doesn't like the new room.

and it made me think. Why do we teach little girls to have no opinion? I am not talking about the opinionated, whiny, complaining type that the bible speaks so much about. The ones that the Apostle Paul said to keep silent in the church. 1 Corinthians 14:33-35. By the way you know your this kind of woman if you get mad at what Paul said. But I am talking about the wise, faithful, strong, and beautiful creations of God.

Strong women face an amazing paradox in the church.

If they feel something strongly and desire to promote that thought, they are perceived as aggressive, uncooperative, and selfish.

But if they say nothing, they become frustrated, angry or even surrender to the point of being as if they are dead which I believe is a greater sin. Some even become manipulative to get their way. Again, I know your the kind of woman who needs 1 Corinthians 14:33-35 if right now your thinking of how you  can leverage this thought to your advantage.

But to the Gracie's of the world, especially the newLife world, I want to encourage your strength by leveraging your God given gifts. Your potential has been undervalued for far too long. Again, if your thinking that this gives you Power or Permission to do what ever you want, go back to 1 Corinthians 14:33-35. But if your thinking that this might allow you to finally be the person God created you to be I will do all I can to help you gain access to the opportunities God has for you.

(and for the men who think that I have overstepped my bounds, the Church is seen as the Bride and Jesus said that she was so strong that the gates of hell would not prevail against her)

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Don't let it be Said of us

While having breakfast this morning I overheard a prominent citizen say, "I would never have anything done at Columbia Memorial". A statement I have heard my whole life. and while I have no desire to defend the stator or the stateee, I will say this...................

I hope that this is never said about newLife. 

Not that all people will like us, Jesus said some would not. Its more than that. Its not being trustworthy with others lives. I never want to be seen by people in emergency situations or even simple sicknesses not believe that newLife is a viable place to come and find healing.

I don't want newLife to be seen as Arrogant and only concerned with building a bigger empire.
I don't want newLife to be seen as Obstinate to change to meet the needs of the people of Clatsop County.
I don't want newLife to be seen as Independent to the point of being exclusionary.

The message of the Gospel brings NEW LIFE
The message of the Gospel brings NEW HOPE
The message of the Gospel brings NEW HEALING

The Church, the vehicle God chose to share that message, deserves to be Honored by our Humility, Honesty, and Helpfulness in a world of hurting people.

Lets watch our testimony newLife. People need Jesus.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Erin Says

Hey if you want to follow a new blogger go visit Erin Says at Erin is an up and coming leader at newlife and a wonderful writer with a very distinct style. I promise she will encourage your heart.

Monday, August 4, 2014

What Makes YOU Different?

There is a very sad trend that I am noticing in Christianity that I am struggling with. Its not something that you could say was Cultural or even distinctly American but in fact its very human. What makes this trend so dangerous is that I believe that its core is what makes the difference between being Human and being Christian. Its what truly separates us from non believers in Jesus.

For years I was taught that separation was from certain places, people, and activities. You have to listen to a specific type of music, wear an extremely modest type of clothing, act in a righteous type of way. Yet, I found that most of those who separated this way were not different but weird and given enough time most of them went back to being worldly.

The Trend? Selfishness. People are very selfish. This is what separates the believer from the none believer. A Believer is Selfless, Giving, Sacrificial. He would never want to be seen as self serving. I know non believers who listen to "Godly Music", wear "Modest Clothing", and act "Righteously". But I know only a few believers who are Selfless.

Many Believers choose the best CHURCH for THEM
Many Believers desire the best MINISTRIES for THEM
Many Believers give the best of their MONIES to THEM
Many Believers take the most TIME for THEM.

Choices, Honor, Money, and Time are what those who are not followers of Jesus worship. But on a Sunday Morning its not hard to find believers acting selfish even though..............

God is a Giver ~ John 3:16
Jesus is a Giver ~ Luke 9:42
The Holy Spirit is a Giver ~ John 14-16

and they expect those who claim to be followers to be like them

Matthew 16:24-25 (ESV) Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

and so the question becomes, if the Trinity showed up on Sunday, what would they find you doing? Separating yourself by being selfless and serving Him, or being no different than those who are not followers and serving You?

Monday, July 28, 2014

I Love Ya Tomorrow

Soon after I graduated from high school I decided to go to college. I desired a higher education which is really a lie because what I really wanted was to get out of Astoria and Party with my friends. My Father, who is the wisest man I have ever known, caught wind of this and he worked very hard to talk me out of it.

He knew that I would fail so he made me an offer he thought that I could not refuse. He offered me his 1979 Ford F 250 Ranger Lariat with a brand new motor in it. It was a beautiful truck. But NOOOOOOO I was too smart for him and went to college anyway.

So after four months, $7,000, and going to two classes I came home. I did so fully believing that Dad would give me the truck to heal my pain. Nope, Nada, Denied. All I got was a cross look and a job in the woods.

I've never forgotten that epic failure. It stands as the first of many really stupid decisions in my life. But something happened this week that changed all of that. After 33 years of suffering, God provided me the opportunity to purchase a 1979 Ford F-150 very similar to the one I lost. Its not the same, but its close enough to heal the hurt of another failure in my life.

While some may wonder if this was a God thing or just a break, I believe its a gift from God and this isn't the first time He healed my past mistakes.

I see this gift of grace every time I see Brea Leanne as through my granddaughter I am experiencing a life I was too busy to experience with my own children.

I see this gift of grace every time I go to church and am surrounded by some of the most amazing people in my entire life, encouraging me that there is no longer any such thing as cranky old church ladies but a people of Love and Life.

I see this gift of grace every time Debra wakes up as our life together just gets better and better.

I have failed at times to take the best opportunities of life, but God often brings my failure around and by His love and grace gives me another shot.

I know that its not always the same, but another round is always appreciated.

God always offers us a second chance, its called "Tomorrow"

Lamentations 3:21-23 (ESV)
21 But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:
22 The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Monday, July 21, 2014

How many times do I have to say it!!!!!!!

I want every one to stop today and think about this.............
Great Days don't happen Alone and Yesterday was a GREAT DAY

People were Welcomed GREATLY by our Greeters
Children were Cared for with LOVE by our kidsLife team
People were Moved to WORSHIP by our Worship team
People were Excited to GIVE by the prayers of a Godly Man
People were Motivated to FORGIVE by the Word of God

Seriously, did you not see the Joy on peoples faces as they came in?
Did you not Hear the Voices Praising God?
Did you not Witness the walk of Love as people Gave?

It all happened because so many of you are involved in this work.

Great Day guys, You helped God to do Great Things simply by being Great People
We are Blessed

Thursday, July 17, 2014

4 Things I ask from you this week

#1 If you know someone who is struggling with bitterness, do whatever you can to get them to newLife church on Sunday.

#2 Know that this Sunday will be the Sunday that those who have been living with long term unforgiveness will be able to find freedom from the bitterness that depresses, stresses, and scares them everyday.

#3 Take some time to read the transforming story of the woman at the well. (John 4:5-42) and notice how her relationships changed once trusting Christ to be her savior.

#4 Please send the next couple of minutes in prayer for those you know who are hampered by bitterness and that they would be open to hearing from God this weekend.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

It Shows and I admit it

It only took one run down the baseline and Pop! Must have been one of two things...
a torn tendon or the Voice of God. I think its both. But as an old friend used to say, it is what it is.
He also said something else similar but I shouldn't repeat it. Something about polishing and excrement.

But its time to let the Young Men be Young Men.
Their stronger, faster, and yes better.

And to admit that Old men need to be Old men.
Even the Jews of the OT knew when to take the older men out of the fight and place them into a new role.
We are smarter, wiser, and much more humble. (remember I am not too old to be wise enough to not play sports, but I am a learner). And we can offer so much to them.

We can help them improve their marriages
We can help them make wise decisions with families
We can help them create more Godly homes.
or We can simply be a safe ear for them to confess sin, seek council, or comfort them in weakness.

I am so proud of the young men God has brought to newLife. There is so much potential in them evidenced by how successful they are in the secular world. But the one thing that they are all lacking is the help of the older men.

And as of today, I have hung up my cleats, given my son my paintball gun, picked up a book on how to succeed by surrounding yourself with the best, and I am going to battle for them in prayer.

Its Time

Proverbs 20:29 The glory of young men is their strength, but the splendor of old men is their gray hair.

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Power of One Random Voice

As I sat having coffee this morning thinking about yesterday and planning for today, a good friend of mine sent me a random text. He was not seeking to encourage me but to simply inform me of what God is doing in his life. And in one moment, the problems of yesterday, the pressures of today, all went away. All from One Random Voice.

One Random Voice is powerful because its random ~ It was totally unexpected
One Random Voice is powerful because its real ~ His thought was of Me
One Random Voice is powerful because its right ~ Its good to share good things with good friends

So what did I do? I Became One Random Voice to Another with the hope that a simple moment of life shared might make a better day for someone else.

Thank you Random Voice, I didn't expect you but glad you took the time for me and encouraged me to take the time for someone else. You made my day

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Its About YOU

Have you ever had a conversation with someone and then hours later thought of something that you wished you would have said? This happens all the time when I preach, mostly things I wished I wouldn't of said,but, this morning is different. I wished that I would have read this verse at the end of the service.

Psalms 138:7-8 Though I am surrounded by troubles, you will bring me safely through them. You will clench your fist against my angry enemies! Your power will save me. The Lord will work out his plans for my life-for your loving kindness, Lord, continues forever. Don't abandon me-for you made me.

I love this thought....
Though I am surrounded by troubles
You will bring me safely through them
You will deal with my enemies
Your power will save me
You have plans for me
You Love me
You are always with me.

No matter what problems we are facing, when we allow God to be God, and we do nothing more than obey His word, there is no defeating us.

Come out of the Darkness

Monday, July 7, 2014

Never Surrender

I just want to thank all of you who served at newLife yesterday. It was a great day in the Lord. 

Those who came in had such a wonderful spirit. I loved hearing the laughter and seeing the excitement in peoples eyes as they entered the building and began to gather together preparing to meet with their God.

The worship was amazing. Not just because of the great skill in which it was played, nor the passion in which it was led, but in the simplicity of people meeting with God. At one point I wondered if Jesus Himself had walked into the room.

While I am my greatest critic when it comes to the sermon, what I felt about it is insignificant. But it seemed that by the end there was a great awakening to the idea of the Rock and our inability to move it creating a greater need for God to help us. It was as if a door to the hearts of those in attendance was opened, but not by my words but by His work. 

Some thought that yesterday would be a low day. Many believed it would be a day to surrender. But newLife is not giving up on ONE day in 2014. Every day is an opportunity for God to do the miraculous.

Never Surrender

Monday, June 30, 2014

Its a good day to be a Papa

Sitting on the Floor this afternoon I am listening to my Granddaughter as she is talking to herself. Its a soft gentle cooing with loud intermittent shouts of joy and I am rejoicing in her peace.
She has no stress nor worries, her papas watching over her.

If she messes up her life ~ Ill clean it up
If she is empty ~ I'll make sure she is full
If she is lonely ~ I'm only a few feet away and I am ready to interact.

In fact, my eyes never leave her.

In fact all Brea knows about life is that there is someone who makes sure that she is cared for.

Sitting in Heaven this afternoon my Father in Heaven is listening to me and He is rejoicing at my peace.
I have been cleaned up, filled up, and engaged by Him.
His eyes never leave me and all I ever know about life is that I am cared for, and He is a Happy Papa.

I love my life, Thank you Jesus

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Just Add What?

I have to say I have enjoyed the Endeavor Bible Study so far this summer. Especially because of how God is speaking to me on the Tuesday outlines. I know that they seem so boring but if you really look, there are some amazing lessons in them.

I'll give you one from Chapter 6 (which you haven't got to yet).

Look at this truth...........
Mark 6:53-56 (ESV)
53 When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored to the shore. 54 And when they got out of the boat, the people immediately recognized him
55 and ran about the whole region and began to bring the sick people on their beds to wherever they heard he was.
56 And wherever he came, in villages, cities, or countryside, they laid the sick in the marketplaces and implored him that they might touch even the fringe of his garment. And as many as touched it were made well.

and the outline of it

VII. Opportunity for change is always Good Mark 6:53-56 also found in Matthew 14:34-36

   1. It happens when we Recognize Jesus (v. 53-54)

   2. It happens when we are honest about our need believing Jesus can help (v.55)

   3. It happens when we ask without fear for Jesus Help (v.56)

And then apply it.

This outline gives you the HOW to CHANGE now all you need is the WHAT.

I love the word of God!!!!!!

Monday, June 9, 2014

I don't like Green Eggs and Ham....Either

I met a person on Sunday that I have met before. In fact she often shows up when things begin to happen in the church. She can be so frustrating as she is often demanding and very difficult to work with. People struggle to relate to her and will actually allow her to ruin their day. I don't really like her. I'm just being honest but the real problem with her is......I invited her to church.

I know, what was I thinking? She doesn't need to be saved, she really doesn't even need the church but sometimes I just can't help myself. Oh I'm not the only one who invites her, others have invited her to come too but I can't blame them for Sunday. Nope I brought her.

Who is she? She is Miss Understanding and I want to share a few things about her.

1. I invite her when I don't communicate clearly to others. When I am not clear in my expectations or instructions it invites miss understanding into the ministry.

2. I invite her in when I don't ask good questions of those to whom I am doing ministry with. If I don't understand what is going on with something that directly involves me it is my fault and not others. If I don't have the answers I need than I am the one responsible to ask the questions.

3. I invite her in when I am not prepared well. Miss Understanding is a direct product of my lack of preparation for what God is calling me to do. She comes in when I over commit, when I am lazy, and when I don't take my responsibility seriously.

I wish she would never come to church but she will, and when she does there are a couple of things I can do.

I  can apologize for not communicating instead of placing blame on others. Even if I told them and they didn't understand, the responsibility for understanding clearly lies with the speaker not the hearer.

I can ask more questions of  those I am doing life with. Rarely will you find someone getting upset because you asked too many questions but you will find them always getting upset because you miss understood and didn't ask.

and finally, I can realize my responsibility to prepare well for what God is calling me to do. I can say no to doing too much, I can recognize how my laziness affects others and makes more work for them, and I can take what I do seriously. My life impacts others in everything I do even being alone.

and you know what, Miss Understanding can hurt your home just as much as the church. Whether you are a child or an adult you too can refuse to allow her to live in your home.

Communicate clearly to your family
Ask good Questions of your family
and Prepare well for your family and you know what, she will never darken your doorstep.

Sunday was Awesome other than her.
Have a Great week Lifers

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Misty Water Colored Memories

I would like to apologize for my blogging inconsistencies but there are times when I have so much to pour out I can't contain myself, then there are times when all I have is enough to breath.

As a young man I was full of more, but the older I get the more I realize that fullness was more of me and not Him. I could easily preach three messages a week, teach three classes, blog every day and council everyone who came to me. But not so much now.

Now I would rather have something meaningful to say than just something to say. I do not require glory for my wisdom or honor for my council but prefer quiet change in people to clamoring praise over my words that will be forgotten.

Today is an empty day. I'm currently reading about prayer and preparing to go on a walk with Him. We will talk about it and He will lovingly fill me up with Himself. Maybe I'll speak about it, maybe not ,or maybe I'm just getting old and will forget.

Have a Great Day with Him

Tuesday, June 3, 2014


If you take the time to read the walls from this Sundays exercise, you would notice one bu# stood out above the rest. Fear. People are afraid to take steps of faith. Fear keeps them from experiencing God by faith.

Fear to Listen to the voice of God because of what He might ask ~ Go? Stay?
Fear to Leave your past behind ~ Let Go
Fear to Live without Earthly Security ~ Loss (Earthly things)
Fear to Look up at the Life God has for you ~ Lots of unknowns

While I could be wrong, I don't think that this fear comes from a lack of faith in God. Not with this group. I believe that it might be more about the fear of MORE loss in our lives.

I can't handle disobeying God one more time
I can't let go of my past, I've held on to it too long
I have so little to give up, to give up more would be to give up everything
I know God has a better life for me bu# I am having a hard enough time with earthly things.

I get the tension. I struggle with the same thoughts. But here is the problem,
This fear keeps us from God. They never allow God to give us hope for a better life and encourage us to experience new places in life. These fears never let us see just how God will miraculously provide and never let us live safely in His Kingdom.

These fears while real, never allow us to be truly safe and worse than that they never get us past the religious nature of Christianity.

Tomorrow we will talk a little more about that, but for today, Pray and ask God to open your eyes up to the root of your fears. This will be an awesome series.

Monday, June 2, 2014

It might be a little Aussie, but it was a Good Day none the less

Good people ~ That's how I would describe yesterday

Good people walking into the door of the church
Good people bringing their children up to kidsLife
Good people talking in the foyer
Good people worshiping God
Good people giving their all
Good people listening to the word of God
Good people identifying their bu#s
Good people saying good by

I know this might be a little simplistic but in a world that is constantly on the move and often filled with negatives, it was Good to be with Good people and Celebrate the Goodness of our Savior,

I am looking so forward to this summer with you.

Have an awesome week

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

One more Letter to those who serve at newLife

Yesterday as I was at the church working on a couple of projects, I was pleasantly surprised at the number of people who came in through the church doors to serve while no one else was there. One was helping with the filing, one was cleaning up the children's ministry, one was looking for their Life Group paperwork, and another came to help me for just a moment on his lunch break. And this happens every day. People who love the Lord, serving the Church.

Romans 12 speaks of this person. They are the ones who give their bodies to God. Who daily are engaged in Spiritual worship. The Gifted who use their gifts not for their own profit but the profit of the kingdom. They don't pretend to love others, they do, but without compromising good in the process. These amazing people seek to love each other and honor each other.

And while I do not think this of them, I think that its important to speak of Romans 12:11....

Never be lazy in your work, but serve the Lord enthusiastically

"Never/Do not" means that this truth Paul is speaking of isn't a part of a submissive Christians DNA. You would never want to be known as whatever he is about to say.

"Be Lazy" Really, you want me to explain this? How lazy can we be? lol

"in your work" Remember the context of Romans 12

"but serve the Lord" The answer to the above statement.

"Enthusiastically" Some versions say "Fervent" meaning to boil over.

Let me share a few things today that might encourage those who serve.

#1 Laziness in your ministry can come from many places but I believe its base comes from one in particular.  Selfishness. (FYI: not a fruit of the Spirit)

#2 Laziness in your ministry can be the result of placing the value of the Lords work behind the value of other work. Not that there are not other things we have to do, but I am speaking of how our heart places value on those things.

#3 Laziness in your ministry can come from a lukewarmness to God. I have never seen warm water boil and Ive never seen a lukewarm Christian be anything but lazy.

#4 Laziness usually results in you blaming the ministry for your Laziness.

Jesus spoke of a Lazy man in Matthew 25 who sat on his talent and then blamed God for his laziness and ended up alone and empty. Laziness is easy to fall into, but once there, its hard to be enthusiastic about getting out.

I do not think that you are Lazy, but I know how easy it is to begin to let things slide.
If you are there, please see your Team Leader or one of the Pastors and let us encourage you through it. and in case you haven't heard it lately, thank you for serving.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A Letter to those who Lead at newLife

This morning as I was reading my devotions the Lord pointed out a very important truth.  He never promised that ministry would be easy.

I know that this is a foreign thought in a world where many Christians believe that being a good Christian is always easy. Even how we speak to each other in hard times seems to lean towards the thought "it will get better". But what do you do about this..................

Acts 20:18-23 (ESV)

18 And when they came to him, he said to them:
“You yourselves know how I lived among you the whole time from the first day that I set foot in Asia, 19 serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials that happened to me through the plots of the Jews; 20 how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you in public and from house to house, 21 testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. 22 And now, behold, I am going to Jerusalem, constrained by[a] the Spirit, not knowing what will happen to me there, 23 except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and afflictions await me.

Paul's words to those serving are powerful but also painful as there are six things I want to share with you out of Paul's Testimony.

1) Paul had to keep a Stellar Testimony so that his word was believable. vs. 18
This is hard for many as they want to serve God but they want to live how they want to live. They use their freedom in Christ as a license to sin rather than a line of truth to others.
If you want to serve God effectively as well as honorably you will need to be more concerned  with what you can't do than what you can. This is especially true when your alone.

2) Paul had to put others before himself. vs. 19
This is Humility. He put his life away for the lives of others. Though he faced many trials in serving and had many plotting against him, his ministry was never about him. People needed Jesus and he was called to tell them.

3) Paul was Fearless in his Service. vs. 20
In a world full of people pleasers this is huge. Paul did not shrink or hide from sharing what he believed that people needed to hear. Whether it was in a church service or sitting in a home with a family, Paul taught without fear of men.

4) Paul's Message was simple. vs. 21
Jews or Greeks ~ Religious or Rebellious the message was still the same. Turn from your sin and trust in Jesus. Our modern Christian wants something deeper and if Paul were preaching today they would scoff at his lack of depth. But I know this to be true, depth in Christianity is not known by how much you know, but how far your willing to go.

5) Paul was truly Spirit Led. vs. 22
I am so tired of people talking about how the Spirit of God leads them here and there but they don't tithe, serve faithfully, or can't even be a committed member to His church.

The Spirit of God constrained Paul ~ Paul could not get away from the truth of God.
The Spirit of God moved Paul to live by Faith ~ Paul had no idea how any of this leading was going to work out. There was no promise of a positive outcome.
A Spirit led person is obedient to the word of God no matter how it works out for them.

6) Paul was Faithful. vs. 23
This is a huge verse. The Spirit of God told Paul that in EVERY CITY he would face IMPRISONMENT and AFFLICTIONS. This was a promise from God. But Paul still went.

God never promised that this would be easy, but He did promise that it was important.  So I say to you thank you for leading others at newLife. I know how hard it is for you. You never have enough people, never enough money and there is never enough time. Your message is often ignored, there are always those who complain and worse there is always the temptation to quit. But don't until you read what Paul said next

 TLB vs 24
But life is worth nothing unless I use it for doing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus ~ the work of  telling others the good news of God's mighty kindness and love.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Ties that Bind

When Debra and I first met back in 1983 our way of communicating was way different than today. Back then, Phones had cords and to speak to each other you had to be close to another phone because of the cord. In my home the cord was really long and not only kept you close but you could easily get wrapped up in it.

If I wanted to message Debra during the day I would have to write her a note, and deliver it to her either through the post office or in person. Since I was working in the woods I would often write her notes on whatever I had (even a dollar bill) and then at the end of the day present it to her letting her know I was thinking about her.

Yet, She never complained that I didn't call her right back. Nor did she sit around waiting for my messages made of texts. Face time was when I saw her, Facebook was her photo album of her life, and twitter was how birds spoke to me while I was waiting to see her.

That is not true today. A Phone call can be anywhere anytime and is expected to be immediately answered. Messages are instant and continuous and are expected to be immediately responded to. Facebook has become an album of your life that is constant and demands immediate likes and Twitter lets the world know what your thinking every moment of every moment.

I am not saying that these are bad things at all, but they have created an attitude of immediate response. We are becoming a people who think that if ten minutes goes by and there is no LIKEING of whatever you posted there must be something wrong with you or them.

Whats the problem? This is not how God communicates with us and yet because we expect it with Humans we expect it with God.

And this is why People struggle to pray more than a few minutes a day. When God does not pick up, text back, Like our page, or read our tweets immediately we think something is wrong.

and there is, Its our Perspective.

God does not communicate the way we do. He does not care about our need for instant, continuous, and self gratifying responses to our calls.

He is God.
How does God tell us to communicate with Him? What should we expect in Prayer?

Psalm 46:10 (ESV)  “Be still, and know that I am God.

The two commands are important.

Be Still ~ Wait
and know that I am God ~ Watch

God hears and answers our prayers (communication with Him) But He does so in His time. A time that I believe more similar to when Debra and I were dating. Face to Face

God has no interest in meeting our need for instant gratification ~ But He does want us to have a relationship with Him based upon trust and faith that even though I have prayed and He has not answered, He will meet with me.

We just need to be still and know, He is God

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A Little Queen Never Hurts

When I was in High School (yes they had them back then) a song came out that energized our football team. Queens "We are the Champions" motivated us to win many victories that year. In the state rankings our football team ended up being the 4th best in the state, our basketball team 2nd losing a close one, and our baseball team 4th as well. While we were not champions as in we won it all, we felt like we were. To us we had done well and Were the Real Champions of the WORLD!

I havent experienced that confidence in a long time. Not that I felt like a loser, no no but to be in a group of people who really believe in themselves has been a rare experience.

and yet last night at life group I heard that song again in my head as they began to talk about what was going on in their lives.

One was conquering her job
One was conquering her fears
One was conquering his bitterness
One was conquering her pain

One after one after one talked not about what was wrong with their lives but what was right and how God had given them such amazing victories in their personal lives.

We are the Champions my Friend

The bible tells us in Romans 8:37 (ESV) No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

And well keep on fighting till the end.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Last fall I was blessed to attend a conference in South Carolina that changed my life. I know we say that all the time but this one really did. While most of the meeting was filled with amazing helps, it was one conversation with thier worship leader at the closing of the conference that really struck a cord of change in me.

What He said was for me and him, but this morning as I was checking out Perry Nobles blog I noticed that it was written by that very same man who challenged me so deeply. Thank you Lee McDerment.

Check it out and see as he describes our worship leader.

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Old Song says, All we need is Love Love Love, Love is all we need

Call me a hopeless romantic but every Sunday is special because anytime you gather Christians together there is the possibility of Love happening. Yesterday was no exception.

Love happened when the teachers gathered to prepare for the children.

Love happened in the parking lot when Shaylynn and others carried out umbrellas to cover those coming in.

Love happened when the worship team pointed us towards our Mighty Warrior who Acquitted us while raining heaven down in Love.

Love happened when you brought your offering to the Lord ~ This one moves me every time

Love happened when God through the word drew you to a life of faith.

Love happened at the alter when people who needed love received it from God and others

But that’s not all

Love happened when a man collapsed from low sugar. Love surrounded him, covered him, cared for him and then called him later to check on him.

And this all happened while two were expressing their love and endless devotion to each other in a wedding ceremony and many were sharing their love with the two.

Still not done.

Love happened when prayer requests were made on Facebook for a young boy’s mother who has cancer. This love came from his most amazing kidsLife teacher.

Love happened when fellowship was happening during lunch.

And while texts were being sent seeking more information on the message and thanks were being sent for serving.

If all we need is Love ~ yesterday was full

Thank you newLife, I love MY Life

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Dull Boys are Troubled Men Continued....

As the saying goes, "All work and no Play makes Andy a Dull Boy". The Play in the saying and the play that I am thinking of is a little different but the point is the same.
Play is a part of life that makes life worth living and really is a part of what allows our bodies and minds to rest. Jesus understood the value of this rest. Lets continue in Mark

Mark 6:45-46

In this passage we find Jesus sending his disciples across the sea in a boat while He goes up to a Mountain to pray. This filling  gave Jesus time to connect to the vine (God) to prepare Him for what was next. A Storm in which endangered His apostles and the strength to walk out on the water to save them.

Mark 9:2-13

Jesus took some of His closest men up with Him on a spiritual retreat. There they saw the Majesty and beauty of the mountain, they talked as they walked, they prayed. Then Jesus went ahead a ways to pray and the men saw Jesus engaged in a conversation with Moses and Elijah and then Jesus Himself was Changed before them. This experience with Jesus changed them forever.

Mark 14:12-13

Its funny but I have missed this for years. Too busy in the work to enjoy a simple meal. But even this Last supper was important for the success of what was to come. The conversation, the food, the laughter, the singing, the lesson, and communion prepared them for the cross. A day that forever changed them and us.

Mark 14:32-42

Jesus again took His most trusted friends into a quiet place to prepare for the next day. While the disciples fell asleep a little early, Jesus prayed through the night. There in Prayer, Jesus surrendered His will to the work God had called Him to. Gathering strength from His heavenly father Jesus could now face the beatings, the mockings, his friends forsaking him, and the cross. Without Jesus Filling Up with God, He could never pour Himself Out.

Jesus was successful in ministry because He understood the value of the Vine Connection. Because of this constant filling He was fully capable of pouring out all He had for others.

Troubled men (women) come from never filling up but always pouring out. If you want to be a successful man or women, father or mother, friend or Christian, you must get into the rhythm of filling up with God.

Let me close this thought out with a few suggestions.

Get Alone with God before anything else
Turn off all electronics (cell phones empty you of life)
Pray, think, dream.
Bring a friend once in a while to bounce prayers and thoughts off of each other.
Make sure that your full of God before you become empty of You

and Finally ~ Repent of Living on a quarter tank of God. It is wrong to think that as a follower of Jesus we would even try to do His work in our power.

Have a Great Day

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Dull Boys are Troubled Men

Its funny how often the things you thought you knew about Jesus are wrong. Growing up I always believed that Jesus was kind of like my dad. He worked 12 hour days 6 days a week and took Sunday off. I never saw my dad just take a day off. As long as I was with him on this earth there was never a vacation. What my father did was important to the family and so he worked a lot.

And to be honest, what I want to share today I learned 15 years ago, but because of my up bringing and our culture I never got it until the last couple of years.

Remember, Jesus ministry was Successful. Its still in business. He never ran on a quarter tank and always filled up before He poured out and when He filled up, it was with premium "God"!

But how does this filling and pouring look to us? Well lets check the bible.

In the Gospels there are many examples of what I am going to share but because I'm currently in Mark we will use that as a reference.

I found eight examples of Jesus pouring himself out and filling himself up and here they are. Today you will get four.

Mark 1:9-13

Jesus had just gotten baptized and you would think that He would officially begin His ministry, but no, Jesus spent 40 days in the desert alone praying, meditating and thinking of God.  It was in the wilderness that He was tempted and defeated Satan setting the tone for His ministry. This gave Him what He needed for a strong start to what God had called Him to.

Mark 1:35

Jesus went out to a very lonely place and prayed. This time helped Jesus discern His next step of going to Galilee.

Mark 3:13

Jesus went up to a Mountain to pray. This gave Him the wisdom to make a very important decision. The choosing of the twelve men who would do ministry with Him and later, Eleven, without Him.

Mark 6:30-32

Jesus and the Apostles had just finished a wonderful but painful time of ministry and so Jesus suggested that they go for a boat ride. John the Baptist had just died and so they needed some time to grieve. But every where they went people thronged them creating amazing stress among the apostles. But Jesus, because he had filled up was fully capable of pouring out leading him to feed thousands and little to no real effort.

This is a little different than I was taught. Jesus didn't just work all the time. He filled Himself first, then Poured Himself out. Chew on that a little today and we will see more tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Always fill a Harley with Premium and Hondas with Regular

I have to admit, I am struggling this morning with what to say. and what is funny about this is that I wanted to share with you what God has been speaking into my life about having a successful ministry.

Why am I struggling? Because I spent most of the last two days pouring myself out and I got too busy to fill myself up.

You see the way that Jesus lived His life was in the rhythm of filling and pouring.
in fact in John 15 Jesus says this.

John 15:5 (ESV) I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
Jesus taught that the power to pour out for others, comes from an intimate relationship of filling (abiding) in God.

The message bible puts this relationship in clear perspective as Jesus spoke this truth.
Matthew 11:27 “The Father has given me all these things to do and say. This is a unique Father-Son operation, coming out of Father and Son intimacies and knowledge

What Jesus poured out did not come from His own efforts or energies,  but the words and works that bear fruit with little effort came from His connection to our heavenly father.

So this morning rather than pour anything out that might be considered to be sour grapes, I am going to get connected to my Heavenly Father and fill up with Him.

My Suggestion for you, do the same today.

Have an Awesome day

Monday, May 12, 2014

5 Things I loved about Mothers day

I know we are in the middle of a study but I can't go on without saying how happy my mothers day was. So let me give you five things that made it so special.

1. I am Happy because of Faithful mothers who set aside their day to teach children about the value of the Church over themselves.

2. I am Happy because of the Amazing worship God received from the hearts of so many mothers.

3. I am Happy because of the testimony of mothers who have suffered pain in raising their child and at the end of the day struggle to lift themselves up to even get into bed, but you are still able to raise their hands in praise to your Heavenly father.

4. I am Happy because of the Love Mothers expressed to each other by praying for each other. I am never wearing mascara to church again!

5. I am Happy because I know that the women of our church went out of their way to make sure those who are not mothers for whatever reason, still felt loved.

It has been four years since we came up with "I Love My Life" and every year its meaning gets deeper.

Thank you Ladies for a wonderful day

Thursday, May 8, 2014

As the Song Goes, If your happy and you know it clap your hands.....Clap Clap or Clump Clump

I know its taken a long time to get to the Point and we are almost there, but we do know.....

Its easy to let life wear you out, especially if you add ministry work to it.
Its common to live life on a quarter tank constantly living on the edge and fearing failure.
and not all draining is bad as it does get us down to a clean start.

But Jesus said that He came to give a Life where burdens are easy and light. A life that is Abundant. A Life that is full.

And Jesus lived that life. But How?
How did Jesus do so much with so little? How did Jesus change the world with what He had to work with. How did He not only survive but thrive?

Simple. Jesus life was more like a rhythm of Filling and Pouring.

Time and time again the bible tells us that Jesus would withdraw from the crowds and go and pray alone in a quiet place. There, Jesus would share His heart with His father, meditate on the scripture, listen to His fathers voice, then obey His fathers word.

Whether Jesus was a young man or a famous preacher he lived His life in a rhythm of the Filling of Himself inside before He Poured Himself out.

Next week we will look at the basis of scripture to support this truth but first lets stop for a moment because I want you to ask yourself some questions.

Am I Living My life Abundantly? Or am I always on the edge of running out of gas?
Do I find myself tired often not just because of work but of worry?
Is my life easy and light, or heavy and burdensome.
Am I happy?

Next week I promise we will discuss how to fill and pour Jesus way, but right now lets pray

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Every Christian needs a Little Drano once in a while

Don't get me wrong, running out of gas is not always a bad thing, even in ministry.

At times it is cleansing ~ being drained breaks me down to the truth of who I am. It reveals the reality as I am too tired to fake it. It drains me of all the things I may have in my tank that Im holding on to that I won't let go unless I empty myself of them.

At times it is clearing ~ Draining also brings me to a place where I live more simply as I learn what I really need to live life.

Jesus taught us that

The bible tells us that as a child......
Luke 2:52 (ESV) And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.

and through His life..........
Hebrews 5:8 (ESV) Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered.

Jesus understood what it meant to be drained. Though He is fully God He is fully Man and spent time in the empty zone. But through this cleansing and clearing Jesus grew in grace and learned to trust the filling of God.

In fact before Jesus entered ministry He spent 40 days in the desert being cleansed and cleared of all that would hinder Him from being successful. How did it work out for Him? Every temptation of Satan failed. But there is something I want you to know about this place of draining.

Mark 1:13 (ESV) And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. And he was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to him.

There was never a time where God nor His angels were far from Him

It was these times of cleansing and clearing that brought Jesus even closer to His Heavenly father and they taught Jesus two things.

The Value of being Emptied of Self
and the Value of being Filled by God

I know that you might think that all of the negitive things draining of you life might sink you, but I suggest you open the drain and let them out. Get down to who you really are and what you really need to live life, and then let God, who is never far from you, minister to you to fill you back up with what can only come from heaven.

Do that today, just don't really drink drano or you might wake up and literally see God.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Fear is a Drain, Faith is a Filler

When it comes to doing ministry, no one was more successful than Jesus Himself. For three years Jesus invested himself into others lives. The Disciples were encouraged, served, taught, and when Jesus was done, they reached THOUSANDS with the Gospel.

In fact what Jesus started was so effective that even today it prospers in our own lives.
2,000 years is a pretty good run.

How did Jesus have such a successful ministry? I mean if most pastors who begin ministry do not end their ministry well, and most Christians who begin serving God so full of faith and excitement end their years sitting in a pew. What have we missed?
What was not translated to us through the last 2,000 years that has caused such a switch.

What did Jesus do and teach that we are not? How did Jesus live with the demands and stress of ministry without becoming depressed and over stressed? Where did Jesus get His strength from, the depth of compassion, wisdom to make right decisions, and the power to do miracles?

Its simple. Jesus filled up before He poured out. While we are always running on a quarter tank. He never ran on the edge.

Have you ever done that with your car? I remember in the Storm of 2007 when Astoria lost power for days and you couldn't get out of town. My truck had a quarter tank of gas. I was panicked because I knew I could not get far and yet I still had to go places and with every mile I could feel the fear drain me emotionally. I know of people who always run their vehicle on a quarter tank and their always looking for a gas station. There is nothing more fearful than running out of fuel in the desert on a Harley. Once your out your walking.

Is that what you are doing with your ministry? With your Life? Are you constantly stressed as you live on the edge of an empty tank. Wondering what happens when it all runs out?

While we will discuss the way of Life that Jesus taught for success tomorrow, I would love to see you seriously consider this thought.

Are you currently living your life and ministry on a quarter tank? Are you going as far and giving as much as you can but wondering how long you can go without running empty?

Pray and let God know that your tired of being tired. Let Him know that fear of failure is draining you. Let Him know, Your Ready to be Filled.

Monday, May 5, 2014

I've Been to the Mountain Top......and the Valley and I get tired of both

I know its been a while since I have blogged but I have been learning about my faith and was working it out not only to share it, but to live it.

Ministry in all forms, full time/part time/volunteer can take its toll on a life. Its not that serving God is bad, but it can be consuming. Most people start out meaning well but few end well. It is said that most Pastors will not retire from ministry but will quit. I don't think that its only Pastors as I have seen over the last 25 years so many people passionately serve God only to quit because of a multitude of reasons but usually because they are weary.

and I know what the bible says.........Galatians 6:9-10 (ESV) 9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.  10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

This verse was used quite extensively in my spiritually formative years but as many other things I learned from the bible this passage too can be easily manipulated to guilt people into serving rather than encourage them in their service.

I say all of this to bring you into something that I have been learning and want to share with you.

Successful ministry is not found in the busyness of the work, nor is it found in the size of the work. Successful ministry is found in the faithfulness of the worker. and I am not talking about OUR faithfulness through weariness as some might say the above passage speaks of. But the Fullness of our Faith as we perform the work and the impact that this faith makes on those around us.

So over the next few days I will be sharing  some of the things I am learning on this subject to hopefully encourage you in your walk with Jesus to success.

So if you would, please begin by reading John 15:1-7 and tomorrow we will take a step deeper into the word.

Monday, February 24, 2014

From the Shallows to the Deep

One of the greatest joys in the Gospel ministry is to see the difference Jesus Christ makes in the lives of those who know Him. Over the last few weeks I have been watching a young woman who came to us a few years ago and I wanted to share her story from my vantage point.

This woman came to us broken. Very broken. She was hurt deeply by a multitude of things but worst of all by religion. Her husband was at his wits end and his last hope of saving their marriage was to involve her in newLife. So we did.

The first thing I remember we did was connect her to a very mature woman in Christ who too had been deeply wounded but knew how to take that hurt and turn it into holiness. This mature woman's love and devotion pierced through the hurt of her broken heart and the healing began.

Over the next couple of years this newly healed young woman began to transform into the loving, kind, beautiful woman that had been hidden for so long. Her heart began to grow and grow but its one thing to live for Christ on the mountain top and another to live in the valley.

As it so happens one day that valley came. Her heart was hurt again and I wondered how she would process the pain. Would she go back to the protection of her past or would she press through in Christ. I wondered, Would she LIVE forgiveness and grace. I will be honest this is always a scary place for a Pastor and I was seriously concerned.

What happened? She navigated her hurt through a godly grace and a Christ~Like Forgiveness. On this side of her hurt I can with great assurance know that this young woman is no longer a student of a mature woman's Love and devotion but has become a teacher with a mature woman's love and devotion.

As her Pastor I am happy to know that her ability to navigate forgiveness has changed her life by  encouraging her marriage, enhancing her ministry, and honoring her Savior.

Through the work of many at newLife, She has gone from the shallow waters and rocky shores of her pain into the deeper things of God and I couldn't be more pleased.

3 John 1:4

 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Apples or Rotton Oranges

I don't mean to be so harsh but I have to say it. I HATE my Galaxy s4. I know I know its not good to hate, but I do. As an IPhone user for four years I was encouraged to try the Android System mainly because for some stupid reason Apple created the I Phone 5 with a tiny screen and I can't see it very well. But from the first day, I knew this transition was a wrong one and here is why.

#1 To do Anything with the Android you have to go through at least 6 steps to accomplish even the most simple of tasks. It reminds me of using my debit card at a grocery store and having to go through several screens just to purchase a $3 item. UGH.

#2 You can't pick the phone up without screwing something up. Literally, every time I pick it up I either erase an app, change a page, dial a number I didn't mean to dial, or send an empty text. I have even accidentally added photos to my background without understanding how they got there. Every swipe, drop of sweat, or gas bubble affects what happens on this phone.

#3 Yes, there are more apps available than the I Phone, but most of the apps are garbage and there is no clear way of knowing if the app is any good without downloading it onto your phone.

I never had any of these problems with my Apple Product. But it did make me think for a moment about the Church.

There are many churches just like the Android system.
To be a part of the church there are several hoops you need to jump through just to attend and no simple explanation how to navigate even the simplest of tasks.

You can't attend without offending someone. Literally every time you attend there is something negative about the experience. Its not intentional but it happens that either you offend or are offended.

Yes churches have many ministries as well as many activities, but most of them are garbage and there is no way of knowing if the activity is any good except you attend.

As soon as I can I am going back to the simple beauty of the I Phone. It was created to be a purposeful as well as powerful tool for mankind. And so was the Church.

Some may prefer the Android church, I'll stick with the 52 days of the Apple church.

A Purposeful as well as Powerful tool for mankind to connect with a God who seeks the simplicity of faith.

Steve Jobs was no fool.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Try Listening

Margin ~ To create space in life

He (the Preacher) said that it was important to create margin for things that were most important. But I didn't listen. I came home and went to work and worked hard.

He (the Preacher) said that if margin was not created by you it would be created for you. But I didn't listen and margin came. The space that was created was from the emptiness of creativity.

He (the Preacher) said that when margin came, even on its own, I should live in it. But I didn't listen and closed up the margin. Too much to do.

He s(the Preacher) said that if I closed up the margin that was created by not creating margin myself the result would be burn out. But I listened to that. I've burned out before and it always hurts.

So I opened up that margin again.

I canceled meetings with people and spent meetings with God. He spoke, I listened. I spoke, He answered. It was the inspiration and information that I needed to live better and work smarter and make the space in my life more enjoyable.

And all I had to do was listen and create space in life for God.

Maybe I need to get my ears cleaned?